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How To Install VirtualBox on Debian Linux 10 Linux

VirtualBox is an open-source cross-platform virtualization software which allows you to run multiple guest operating systems (virtual machines) simultaneously.

This tutorial explains how to install the latest VirtualBox on Debian 10, Buster.

Prerequisites

To be able to install packages on Debian, you’ll need to be logged in as a user with sudo privileges.

Installing VirtualBox on Debian

VirtualBox packages are not available in the default Debian 10 repositories. We’ll download and install VirtualBox from the Oracle repositories.

At the time of writing this article, the latest version of VirtualBox is 6.0. Before you continue check the VirtualBox download page for a newer version.

The following steps describe how to install VirtualBox on Debian 10 Linux:

  1. Import the VirtualBox repository GPG keys to your system using the following wget commands:

    wget -q https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -
    wget -q https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

    Both commands, should output OK which means that the keys are successfully imported and packages from this repository will be considered trusted.

  2. Next, add the VirtualBox apt repository to your sources list:

    sudo apt install software-properties-common
    sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian $(lsb_release -cs) contrib"

    $(lsb_release -cs) will print the Debian codename. In this case, that is buster.

  3. Once the repository is enabled, update the package list and install the latest version of VirtualBox:

    sudo apt update && sudo apt install virtualbox-6.0

At this point, you have VirtualBox installed o your Debian Buster, and you can start using it.

Installing VirtualBox Extension Pack

The VirtualBox Extension Pack provides several useful functionalities for guest machines such as virtual USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices, support for RDP, images encryption, and more.

The version of the Extension Pack must correspond with the version of the installed VirtualBox. To download the extension file type:

wget https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/6.0.10/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-6.0.10.vbox-extpack

Once the download is completed, run the following command to install the extension pack:

sudo VBoxManage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-6.0.10.vbox-extpack

You will be presented with the Oracle license and prompted to accept their terms and conditions.

Do you agree to these license terms and conditions (y/n)?

Type y and hit Enter. On successful installation you will see the following output:

0%...10%...20%...30%...40%...50%...60%...70%...80%...90%...100%
Successfully installed "Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack".

Starting VirtualBox

Now that VirtualBox is installed on your Debian system you can launch the application from the command line by typing:

virtualbox

GNOME users can start VirtualBox by clicking on the VirtualBox icon: Applications -> System Tools -> Oracle VM VirtualBox.

When VirtualBox starts for the first time, a window like the following should appear:

If you are using KDE, launch VirtualBox by clicking on the VirtualBox icon KDE menu -> System -> Oracle VM VirtualBox.

Or if you are using Xfce as your desktop environment clicking on the VirtualBox icon (Applications -> System -> Oracle VM VirtualBox).

Conclusion

Installing VirtualBox on Debian is a relatively straightforward process and will only take a few minutes.

You can now install your first Windows or Linux guest machine. To find more information about VirtualBox, visit the official VirtualBox documentation page.

If you have any question, please leave a comment below.